How to help a child feel loved

Photo Copyright ©2007 by Maureen Shaughnessy. All rights reserved

I subscribe to a wonderful weekly letter titled "Friday's Focus" This week's message from Carrie and Danielle struck me as so true today I had to share it with my blog readers. Thanks to my young friend, Grace, for her spontaneous joy and impishness ... by way of illustrating the concept of respecting a child's feelings and making him/her feel loved. Here is this week's Friday Focus from Carrie and Danielle:

When I approach a child, (s)he inspires in me two sentiments; tenderness for what (s)he is, and respect for what (s)he may become.
- Louis Pasteur

Photo Copyright ©2007 by Maureen Shaughnessy. All rights reserved

How would you feel if, when you first met someone new, they said to you, “Are you going to play shy?” or “Looks like someone’s in a bad mood.” What would you think if, when you needed a good boo-hoo, your friend said, “You’re fine. Don’t cry.” And if someone had an issue with you and they let you know about it in front of everyone in the room, how would that go down with you?

Grown ups say the darndest things to kids - things we’d never dare say to a fellow adult. And in the process it can create tremendous confusion between a little person’s genuine feelings and what they’re being told to feel. It’s a discombobulation that many of us carry far into adulthood as we fumble to “get in touch with our feelings.”

(Just a reminder as we come into a season of spending time with family members of all ages ...) be conscious of your power with kids. Whether you’re a Mama Bear or a distant big cousin, this basic approach is divine: Don’t say anything to a child that you wouldn’t say to a grown up you adored. When you were a kid, how sparkling and “in,” and loved did you feel when a big person talked to you as though your feelings and opinions truly mattered? Whether sad, mad, silly, or giggly, having your feelings respected fuels your shine - at every age.


Photo Friday: Two

Two, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.


'Round Midnight

'Round Midnight

'Round Midnight

It begins to tell,
'round midnight, midnight.
I do pretty well, till after sundown,
Suppertime I'm feelin' sad;
But it really gets bad,
'round midnight.

Memories always start 'round midnight
Haven't got the heart to stand those memories,
When my heart is still with you,
And ol' midnight knows it, too.
When a quarrel we had needs mending,
Does it mean that our love is ending.
Darlin' I need you, lately I find
You're out of my heart,
And I'm out of my mind.

Let our hearts take wings'
'round midnight, midnight
Let the angels sing,
for your returning.
Till our love is safe and sound.
And old midnight comes around.

Feelin' sad,
really gets bad
Round, Round, Round Midnight

Original jazz composition by Thelonious Monk, 1944. Lyrics by Bernie Hanighen, 1949

an alternative version of the same song:


Relaxing after setting up 3rd annual woodworking exhibit

When we finished setting up the exhibit of the Helena Woodworkers' Guild last week, we paused for a few minutes to admire the different pieces of excellent craftsmanship in the show.

Our opening reception was Friday evening, a smashing success, though I'm glad it's over. Took alot of effort to get to that point -- effort by many guild members and a few of their partners (like me.)

I maintain the guild's website as a favor to my husband, Tim, the current guild president. Naturally I'm proud of Tim's beautiful furniture.... but I am also impressed by the many other talented woodworkers we have in Helena, Montana -- a small city with a big arts culture. Their annual show just keeps getting better every year.

If you are interested in seeing some wonderful woodworking even if you can't make it to Helena during November to see it in person, please enjoy this slideshow of the exhibit on the Guild's website, Sawdust and Shavings, along with a collection of photos I shot during the reception. Comments are welcome either here or on Sawdust and Shavings. Thank you very much for looking. :)


The water is wide

the water is wide I cannot get over
and neither have I wings to fly



Photo Friday: The City

Dependency, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.


Photo Friday: Real Life

yes this is real life in the city ...


Photo Friday: Wholesome

Dressed for the Wedding, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.


Photo Friday: Comfort:

brown bird considering the comfort of friends


Woodland Spring Green even in Autumn

Behind a veil, Earth lets go her crystal waters

Here, a spring is protected, enclosed by a tangle of vines and understory trees: willows, birch, serviceberry, wild clematis ... ferns, liverworts, mosses and tiny water-loving green things co-exist with water striders, insect nymphs and songbirds. Deer have made a narrow path through the thicket to where they drink. They leave a delicate calligraphy of tracks as they browse on tender fiddleheads and new willow growth.

The spring is quiet. Peaceful. Hidden from everyday eyes. A secret harbor. A magical well. Thirst-quencher. Calm-giver.

See this photo much larger so you can go into the heart of this place. So much detail


Water Striders' & Poems for Two Voices

Written Language of Water: if you look closely, you can see in this long exposure, the tiny scatterings and skatings, the markings made by water striders dancing on the surface of the water.

One of my favorite poetry books ever is Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices. I love it so much one time I bought 10 copies so I would have enough to give to my young friends who have since come to love it too. The poems about insects (water striders included) are written with a left and right column on each page -- each column meant to be read aloud by one person -- in time -- with a partner reading the opposite column. The poems' rhythms are designed to give the feeling and sense of each insect. My favorite of the poems for two voices is the one where the queen bee is one voice and a worker bee is the other voice -- they are both simultaneously describing the same hive, from very different points of view. And somehow it all works perfectly, causing us, as readers, to collapse on the floor in fits of laughter each time.


River Bend in Morning Light

River Bend in Morning Light, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.


Evening Light on the Dearborn River


Water Photography: surface dancers


Photo Friday: Purple

Posted for Photo Friday theme, Purple


Ingredients for Sam's Healthwise Food Cakes"

Healthy harvest from our garden and the Real Food Market ... I think Sam eats better than most people do, especially at harvest time.

Sam's Healthwise Rawfood Cakes recipe

The ingredients in this photo are just what go into making the veggie part of Sam's diet. He also gets raw ground turkey, chicken, rabbit or llama meat plus a 1/3 cup of yogurt and sometimes cottage cheese. We also put salmon oil on each meal. Sam gets daily dog-vitamin tablets, glucosamine and milk thistle capsules as well.

cllick on the photo for an annotated view of all the ingredients.


Patiently Waiting


Festival of the Trees at Raven's Nest

A Map of the World, © Maureen Shaughnessy

Dear Friends,

I am hosting the September edition of Festival of The Trees at my other blog, Raven's Nest (aka Water, Earth, Wind and Fire.) Many of my photoblog viewers will be interested in checking out the tree-art, tree-poetry and tree-related science, prose and photography.

Fair warning: it's a huge post, but I hope it's worthwhile to explore around the links from the many participants in Festival #15.

I posted two separate articles about trees-in-art and trees-in-poetry/prose, simply because the main Festival post was getting too long. Don't miss those two posts when you have time to sip a cup of tea or java and relax.

I'd love to get feedback and hear if you enjoyed yourselves over there.

Hopefully now things will slow down for me a little, as fall approaches, and I can get back to posting regularly here at Land of Little Rain. Thanks for looking!


Rose Tango

Rose Tango, © Copyright 2007 by Maureen Shaughnessy.


Photo Friday: Insignificant?

The tiniest breath of a feather no larger than a guess ...

Pine Siskin Feather on Sunflower Leaf
Copyright © 2007 by Maureen Shaughnessy

In thinking of what to submit for the theme, Insignificant, I realized that in my belief nothing is insignificant. Even the smallest detail, the most mundane task, or microscopic creature is important, is a vital part of the whole that becomes Life as we know it. So I made a photo-story: something that happened in our garden today, a story that begins with an "insignificant" bit of fluff on a leaf ...

You can read the story and see the slideshow by clicking the image below. Thanks for looking!

Insignificant? or Part of a Plan?



Longevity, ©Copyright 2007 by Maureen Shaughnessy





Belly, ©Copyright 2007 by Maureen Shaughnessy


Photo Friday: Old

Eyebrows of an Elder


Photo Friday: Wet

Posted for Photo Friday theme, Wet


Festival of Trees #14

For my Festival of Trees offering this month, I made some desktop wallpapers with a small calendar in one corner of the wallpaper image. Click on any of these images for a larger, downloadable wallpaper file. Depending on your system and browser, you can usually right-click the large photo and save as "desktop" ... or right click > save, then make the photo your desktop when that month rolls around.

Thanks for looking and please enjoy these calendars.

Please remember all images on here are copyrighted by Maureen Shaughnessy, with permission for your personal use only. Thank you for respecting my copyright.

If you love trees, and want to tell other people about it, please head over to the Festival of Trees coordinating blog to find out how to participate in the next festival. Click here:Festival of the Trees

I will be hosting Festival #15 for the month of September, at Raven's Nest (aka Water Earth Wind and Fire) ... so check back here around the 1st of September to see more about trees from all over the world.


Photo Friday: Loud

VERY Happy VERY Loud Baby, Copyright 2007 by Maureen Shaughnessy

Posted for Photo Friday theme, Loud



Tiny Hands Create and Hold

Tiny Hands Create, Copyright by Maureen Shaughnessy

Photoblog Awards

My friend, Meg Nakagawa kindly submitted Land of Little Rain for a photoblog award. Thank you, Meg.

If you are a regular reader of Land of Little Rain -- and you think it deserves more votes, please head over here and vote for this as one of your favorite photoblogs. I'd sure appreciate it. :o}

You can also submit/nominate/vote for other photoblogs you like. Like Ben's Sketchbook. Or Lachezar's photoblog. I'm going to sit down with a cup of tea and browse through some of the other photoblogs on the awards website, when I have more time. (huh? time? what's that?)


Front Porch

Shaded corner, ©Copyright 2007 by Maureen Shaughnessy

our hops vines have almost completely covered the west side of the porch, creating a cool private place to sit on hot summer evenings.


Dark Sky Blue ---Sun Yellow

Dark Sky Blue ---Sun Yellow, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.